The best structured settlement calculator is one that uses a real person to figure out your expected lump sum. Of course, such a calculation would be difficult for any layperson. However, selling your structured settlement to a third party is actually an art form. And as with all art forms, there are many different versions of the ideal calculator.

When people think of getting a lump sum of cash, they often think in terms of dollars. They don’t think in terms of pounds or Euros. While dollars will make the transaction easier, it’s not necessarily the best way to go. If you’re receiving payments monthly instead of weekly, you might find that even a five dollar increase in monthly payments makes no difference to how much money you actually make. And if you have a history of injury and are due some fairly substantial payouts, even a few hundred dollars can mean the difference between a comfortable living and a life of struggle.

A better way to think about a structured settlement calculator that determines your settlement’s value is in percentages. In other words, try thinking in percentages. Let’s say you have a settlement that is worth ten thousand dollars. You’d like to receive a payment of seven hundred fifty dollars per month, or about two percent per year.

How would you know what your structured settlement worth is? There are a number of ways to do this. One would be to get an annuity calculator, which estimates your potential return on investment. If you’ve never had an annuity quote, look into getting one today. Most reputable financial advisors offer them as part of their investing services. If they’re not readily available, consider talking to your financial advisor anyway.

Another way to figure out how much money you could be selling for your structured settlement (other than using an annuity calculator) would be to contact a structured settlement purchaser. These companies buy structured settlements from people who no longer want to hold them, but would rather exchange them for a lump sum of money. With the help of a skilled attorney, your financial advisor will put together a proposal that details the best selling price for your payout. If you agree, your structured settlement purchaser will arrange for a buyer to purchase your payout at an effective discount rate.

Once you’ve agreed to sell your payout, your lawyer will help you identify the highest buying price. The buying company will use your structured settlement calculator to calculate how much money you can sell for. You’ll receive cash right away–often in a lump sum–in exchange for your structured settlement payments. Your lawyer will advise you of any tax issues that may arise as a result of selling. Your payments will be held until such time as you or your buyers find a buyer willing to fulfill all of your wishes. Then, you can complete your taxes at the normal tax rates and get the cash you’ve been waiting for.